Architects of the plans boast they will be the harshest anti-illegal immigration laws yet, a claim that could have an incendiary effect in Florida given the state's high proportion of Latinos.
Bill McCollum, Florida's attorney general, is the main proponent of the clampdown. He said the legislation would "provide new enforcement tools for protecting our citizens and will help our state fight the on-going problems created by illegal immigration. Florida will not be a sanctuary state for illegal aliens."
Under the proposals, police would be required to investigate the immigration status of anyone they stopped whom they suspected of being illegally in the country. Any suspects lacking papers would be liable to up to 20 days in jail after which time they would be handed over to the immigration services for deportation.